Christmasy COVID

Louisiana added almost 4,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday as hospitalizations dropped slightly across southwest Louisiana, according to the latest Louisiana Department of Health update.

On Friday, LDH reported 107,574 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 3,840, or 3.7 percent, from Friday’s running total of 103,734. Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 17.3 percent, from 91,706 last Sunday.

Statewide, hospitalizations due to the disease dropped 2.69 percent since Friday, falling to 1,553 Saturday, then rising to 1,557 Sunday, an overall decrease of 43. As of Sunday, 184 of those patients were on ventilators after falling to 192 Saturday.

For perspective, the hospitalizations statewide peaked at 1,991 on April 12, with ventilator usage peaking at 571 on April 4. 

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped from 294 on Friday to 284 Saturday, then 283 Sunday, for a decrease over the two days of 3.74 percent. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by two, first falling to 48 before rising one to 49, or 3.92 percent since Friday.

Although lower, both of those numbers eclipse the high points from earlier in the coronavirus outbreak. Previously, Region 4’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations had peaked on April 10, at 125, with ventilator use peaking on April 12 at 37.

The intensive care bed occupancy rate in Region 4 dropped Sunday to 79.03 percent, with 147 rooms occupied and 39 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds rose by two, to 186.

Sunday’s report also showed that 1,197 of the hospital beds in the region — 70.7 percent — are occupied, with 496 available. The total number of reported beds dropped by 11, to 1,693.

Statewide, the number of deaths rose to 3,651 on Sunday. That rise represents an increase of 48, or 1.33 percent, from Friday’s total of 3,603. The average age of fatal patients is 74, the median age 76. As of July 22, 112 of those deaths were still considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing. The number of probable deaths attributed to COVID-19 is updated each week on Wednesday.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases crossed the 2,000 mark, rising by 34 to 2,003. The number of deaths rose by one to 57, with 16,557 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had the second-highest incidence rate in the state, with 795.03 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases were up by 41, to 1,399, with 15,098 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 635.94 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths rose by two, to 36.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 49, to 1,287, after 10,209 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by two, to 42. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had 873.95 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 5,519 on Friday to 5,769 Sunday, an increase of 250 cases, or 4.53 percent. The number of deaths rose by two, to 75. There have been 70,730 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 698.98 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 320 to 13,448 on Sunday, compared to a rise of 146, to 9,898, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 120,556 tests in Jefferson compared to 113,463 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 42 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by four, to 552. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by three, to 510. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, Jefferson Parish had 455.71 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 273.14 per 100,000.

Statewide, the 18 to 29 age group total rose to 23,738 cases Sunday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 14. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 17,727, with 66 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 16,238 cases and 129 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 15,766 cases, including 321 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 12,807. The number of deaths in that group rose by 22, to 2,472 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined and two-thirds of the total COVID-19 attributed deaths in the state.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 12,337 cases reported and 645 deaths. This age group has the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the 70 and above demographic group.  

The under 18 group, the smallest demographic segment, had 8,871 cases total and four reported deaths.

Labs in Louisiana have processed 1,233,264 COVID-19 tests so far. 

By gender, the state’s daily report shows women making up the largest part — 56 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 43 percent and the other one percent identified as unknown or other. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 52 percent to 48 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of July 21, rose to 61,456. In order to be considered recovered, a living patient must either be out of the hospital and 14 days past a positive test result, or 21 days past a positive test date if their hospitalization status is unknown.

 

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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